Increasingly, college campuses are offering students practical trading opportunities, ahead of entering the fast-paced, competitive world of hedge funds and asset management.
Last spring, Robert Korajczyk, the Harry G. Guthmann Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University launched a year-long course entitled Asset Management Practicum. Currently, enrolled students manage $2.7 million of Kellogg's endowment and rotate roles -- from
to hedge fund managers to traders to portfolio managers.
"It's really meant to give students an experience in investing that's difficult to get just through a textbook style class. So not only do they have to worry about which assets to hold and the
of the portfolio but how do you trade the portfolio," says Korajczyk. Students are given 100% freedom, he says, in choosing what stocks and funds to trade in the class, which comprises four portfolios of different categories.
Blue Chips Over Hot Tech
Three out of the four portfolios have beaten the
since the current students began managing the portfolios last April, he says. How? Most of the portfolios have a cash component, students say, along with a good number of
Market Vectors Global Agribusiness ETF
iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index ETF
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
(FCX - Get Report)
(NKE - Get Report)
Students are not as interested as much in
stocks or hot tech names like
(GOOG - Get Report)
(BIDU - Get Report)
(AAPL - Get Report)
, because their sense of the market right now is less than confident, they say.
"People are being a little bit more defensive," says Kellogg student Ben Hockenberg, one of the 23 graduate students enrolled in the Asset Management Practicum. He and his classmates prefer "stocks that will be solid if the economy continues to weaken." One of Hockenberg's latest stock picks was
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
(GT - Get Report)
. "[With Goodyear,] replacement tire purchases are somewhat elastic... If we end up going into somewhat of a
, people need to still replace tires on their car," he explains.